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IPL 2018: The dos and don'ts for brands

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MUMBAI: Brands are always on the hunt to find events with high engagement and some sporting properties are just that. The Indian Premier League (IPL) has been one of the most sought after and followed sports events in India since 2008. It’s 2018 now, its eleventh edition and the IPL has come a long way.

The T20 tournament is the fifth most popular sporting event in the world with over 335 million viewers and the number only seems to be increasing every year. Ad displays are synonymous with the IPL. Every conceivable property, right from boundary line ropes, billboards, stumps to even the sight screen is covered with brands and is monetised.

The IPL has turned out to be the best property for advertisers, considering its short three-month schedule, high consumer involvement and television ratings. Ever since the league started, it has managed to attract major clients as sponsors, including PepsiCo, Vivo, Oppo, Havells, Vodafone, Samsung, DLF, Karbonn among other big spenders.

With less than two months to go before the season starts in April 2018, brands have begun their hunt to pick their favourite teams.

Any sporting event is only made possible through the commercial participation and support of sponsors, partners, licencees and broadcasters. While Vivo Mobiles is the league’s title sponsor this year, several brands have come on board to become the associate sponsors for the teams. 

The IPL governing council issues brand and content protection guidelines for all the brands that provide guidance on appropriate and acceptable commercial and non-commercial utilisation by third parties of the IPL proprietary names, proprietary marks and trophy image and audio-visual representations of the league.

Franchise sponsors and partners are granted certain rights by the franchises they associate with. The rights that franchises may grant to their sponsors and partners are governed by the franchise agreement, sponsorship guidelines, player ID guidelines and other applicable league rules.

But just because a brand isn’t Vivo doesn’t mean it can’t get a boost from the game—just that it needs to be careful. The council issues many pages of guidelines on the do’s and don’ts.

Indiantelevision.com got its hands dirty and compiled the crib sheet for advertisers and players below : 

Players:

Major players competing in the games have established sponsorship deals with one or several brands. But once the league begins, they need to be careful about what they say, wear and do.

They Can

They Cannot 

Share their experiences at the games via social media

Post or talk about their personal brand sponsors or mention any branded products

Share their own photos or videos

Mention or promote any organisations they support

Use IPL logo, so long as its not in a commercial context

Wear any branded apparel that isn’t official on IPL property

Official sponsor brand:

These are the brands that shell out big bucks for the title league partnership.  Official sponsorship is expensive stuff for a usual five-year deal which is why only mega brands end up signing on the dotted line.

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They Can

They Cannot 

Advertise while the game is in progress

Conduct any advertising or promotions that have not been pre-approved by the IPL governing council. 

Enjoy exclusive advertising within their market category

Cannot use IPL name or logo that is confusingly similar or likely to be mistaken for IPL footage which is unlicensed and unauthorised. 

Mention the game on social media platforms

 

Supply their goods and services on an exclusive basis within IPL venue

 

Sell merchandise and team jerseys

 

Can run ticket promotions or IPL prizes in contest

 

Other brands: 

Brands that are not official title sponsors but are partnering team sponsor or additional sponsor are allowed to do a limited amount of marketing during the league. These brands include brands like Kent RO, Muthoot Finance, Royal Stag, Kingfisher, Parle, Lotus Herbals among others that have come on board this season

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They Can

They Cannot 

Run marketing campaigns that feature the teams they sponsor

No franchise sponsor or partner may use the IPLname or marks in any of its marketing communication or promotion 

Merchandise with general cricket terms, India related terms, provided there is no usage of IPL name or logo

Manufacture and sell counterfeit merchandise relating to IPL or unlicensed use of the IPL relating to any of the teams participating in the league

Can run ticket promotions or IPL prizes in contest

Launch a new campaign while the league is in process that talks about their association with the tournament without prior licence from the IPL committee.

 

Brands cannot reproduce or distribute items during IPL and cannot be used on goods, in business names or in advertising promotions without licence from the IPL

 

A formal or pre-existing association with any of the eight participating teams does not permit a team player or team sponsor to use the IPLname or logo without prior authorisation from the committee.

 

Engage in ambush marketing, basically an attempt to create the false impression of an official relationship with IPL.

Live score on mobile and SMS guideline for official and team sponsors:

They Cannot

Use IPL name or footage on any mobile or wireless technology including on mobile apps without licence

SMS updates of live stores and game that utilise the IPL name 

Brands and match schedule:

They Can

They Cannot 

Use the match schedule to provide information in a purely non-commercial sense 

Commercial use or presentation of match schedule by third parties is not permitted

Though the rules may sound stringent, they are to safeguard the interests of parties. Brands have to be extra cautious while associating and marketing themselves during sporting events and it is not all fun and games in the end!

Also Read :

IPL 2018 gets a makeover with Star India

Star India bags 5 new advertisers for IPL 2018

IPL 2018: Team sponsorship deals may see an uptick

Global appeal of Indian sports high, says Deloitte report

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